Sandy Alderson explains why Mets aren’t pursuing Yoan Moncada


During his chat with Mets season ticket holders on Wednesday night at Citi Field, Sandy Alderson gave a lengthy answer about why the Mets would likely not be pursuing 19 year old Cuban free agent Yoan Moncada.

Here’s the entire response from Alderson:

"Our international people have seen him, we like him, I doubt that we’ll be in on him. There are a couple of reasons for that. Part of it is just this whole Cuban market. This is a player who’s 19 years old, he’s subject to the international pool limits that exist for international amateur players…let’s say he gets a $30 million dollar contract, that would require an immediate $30 million dollar tax paid within 30 days. And more importantly perhaps than that – although that would be important – it would also limit us over the next two years from signing any more Amed Rosario’s in the Dominican Republic. The real question is not “hey we’re the Mets, they’re not in on Moncada again.” The real question should be, I think, fairly anyway, the second question ought to be “how did we get Rosario? What did we do right there?” We have had some tremendous success in the international market over the last two or three years. I think you’re gonna see some other players like a catcher named Ali Sanchez, a right-handed pitcher named [Marcos] Molina who pitched at Brooklyn last year. We’ve had some tremendous signings over the last two or three years, but not necessarily of this high profile type. From my standpoint, it’s a little like the stock market. You want to go all in on Shake Shack or do you want to invest in a mutual fund that gives you a little more diversity and a little more spread over time? And you might hit. Shake Shack hit for a couple of days. I don’t know where it is today. I think our goal here is to make sure that we invest somewhat efficiently but also spread it somewhat so we give ourselves the best opportunity to succeed. The bottom line is that our farm system now is one of the best in baseball…one of these days maybe we will be in on a guy like Moncada, but my guess is you’re gonna find that the teams that are in on him don’t have a Rosario at the bottom end of their system and are doing it because of a real hole that they have as opposed to kind of dealing from strength."

While he’s currently listed as a shortstop, most scouts believe Moncada will switch off the position and wind up at either second base, third base, or a corner outfield spot.


The above is a lot to digest.

After reading Alderson’s response, I don’t believe he would’ve been in on Moncada even if the Mets had tens of millions of dollars to burn.

Late last season, a high-ranking Mets official downplayed the possibility of the Mets dipping into the high priced international market, basically saying that Sandy knows what’s there but that he’s not interested in exploring it. What Alderson said on Wednesday – citing the “whole Cuban market” as one of the reasons why the Mets wouldn’t be pursuing Moncada – seems to affirm his disinterest in paying enormous penalties for unproven talent.

Another point Alderson makes is that any team who signs Moncada will be restricted in the amateur international market for the next two signing periods. Alderson cited the potential inability to sign the next Amed Rosario as one of the reasons going after Moncada is risky. While that’s a fair point, it doesn’t explain why tons of other teams who are building from within in the same manner as the Mets are in on Moncada.

One thing I can’t agree with Alderson on is his assertion that “the teams that are in on [Moncada] don’t have a Rosario at the bottom end of their system and are doing it because of a real hole as opposed to kind of dealing from strength.”

All you need to do is look at the Cubs – a team that’s interested in Moncada and possesses high-end prospects all over the diamond – to shoot down Alderson’s claim about teams going after Moncada only to fill a specific need.

While the Mets are clearly not ready or able to go after high-priced international talent like Moncada, Alderson said earlier this offseason that the club was ready to be more involved in the international market. Hopefully that means making a killing on cheaper international signings – something they’ll be allowed to do by not signing Moncada.

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